Wa Di Yé


1992: Philips/Phonogram 512 697-2

  1. Waadileh
  2. Atamé
  3. La mauvaise graine
  4. Yanari
  5. Mammou Ayni
  6. Salam
  7. Ezzayakoum
  8. Diggé
  9. à l’abri des portes qui claquent
  10. I Guluness
  11. Zahra
  12. Ma musique est cassée

From its Jean-Baptiste Mondino cover photo to its sporadic French/English lyrics, this album really gives a feeling of Mahgreb Paris to me—not raw Mahgreb material, but some of its voices expressed in polished form. There’s a lot of beautiful stuff here, and although Annabi’s voice sometimes slides onto notes that my “Western” ear isn’t accustomed to hearing (such nuances do exist in Arabic-world music) I do find it to be a delicious brush painting unexpected and lovely vignettes—sometimes almost landscapes. Favorite tracks: “I Guluness,” “Mammou Ayni,” “Yanari.” And “Diggé” (a duet with Wasis Diop, partly in Wolof) has eventually grown on me, not least because its choruses dance around like sparks borne by incense-scented breezes coming from various directions.